Skip to content

Friday news and discussion

Jan 13, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo

I’m out of town on vacation until Jan. 16, but that doesn’t mean this site has to go silent. Please use this thread to discuss any news of the day or other topics you wish to bring up with each other.

114 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. natsfan1a - Jan 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Yay – real time! (I think.)

  2. natsfan1a - Jan 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    D'oh!(preview only)

  3. natsfan1a - Jan 13, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Not to complain, mind you, because the thread did actually post at 7 AM.In other news, here's a Meat Hook piece for your morning reading pleasure.

  4. Section 222 - Jan 13, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    1a, you should have warned us that it was a video from Jim Bowden! All of a sudden I heard this voice…. ugh.Reposting the comment below from last night's thread in case there are reactions from the peanut gallery. The more I think about it, the more I wonder why DJ didn't get this taken care of sooner. It's dangerous to walk around (or more specifically, drive around) with 20/200 vision in one eye. Probably not too safe on a baseball field either…"I know that a manager's eyesight doesn't matter all that much, but DJ says that his eye problem affected his managing. Why didn't he just take a few days off and get the surgery during the season? Cataract surgery is no big deal. He could have been back in under a week. What, is he like a young pitcher who covers up an injury because he doesn't want to lose his spot in the rotation?"I'll just add one thing — if I'm not mistaken, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the U.S. today.

  5. Positively Half St. - Jan 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    I think we all want Meat Hook to enjoy one last taste of success (for an American League team)so he can end his career on a better note. I really think that it is easier to get attached to a non-superstar player who has a cool nickname. We all love Michael Morse, but I think it is even easier to get attached when he has the nickname "Beast". Works for my 15-year-old daughter. Bernadina became a lot more popular once people started calling him "The Shark".So, folks, if there anything we can do to stick a nickname on one of our guys this year, we should do it. Let's open it up, and consider it an ongoing task. A good nickname rarely comes immediately, but when someone hits on one,it strikes like lightning.+1/2St.

  6. FS - Jan 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    nice link 1a. thanks.Wouldn't mind seeing young back in a uniform and do well again.

  7. Positively Half St. - Jan 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Along those lines, I don't know if I mentioned previously that I have the geekiest possible nickname for our second baseman. You would have to be familiar with Harry Potter to understand it; I only offer it for the minority of you who will be amused by it.Whenever Danny hit a home run last season, my family would be amused to hear me shout out "Wingardium Espinosa!" It makes sense because he uses a wooden wand to make objects fly. (For non-geeks, the spell "Wingardium Leviosa" makes objects fly in the Harry Potter books.)+1/2St.

  8. Sunderland - Jan 13, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    I've said a few times I bet that Cespedes is over-rated and will be overmatched by MLB pitching. He's never seen pitching that good. He's rarely hit against guys who are better than good AA pitchers. He's unlikely to help himself by playing in the DR over the next few weeks. He's already got juice and is likely to land a good contract. How does playing down there help?First game last night, 0 – 3, all three strikeouts, and one HBP. He played DH, did not take the field.

  9. NatsLady - Jan 13, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    I have my 'puter set on mute so I didn't have to hear Jimbo. Boy, that weight loss is an inspiration!. Not so much on Matt Stairs (celebrity endorser). Seems to me he put a lot of weight back on. Just in time to "prolong his career" in our fair city.

  10. Sunderland - Jan 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    +1/2St. – Count me among the amused. Not by the nickname, but by your totally unexpected geekiness. But here's to plenty of Wingardium in NatsTown.

  11. #4 - Jan 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Love the Harry Potter reference. I read all seven books aloud to my Nats-loving daughter, even after she was well past the age to be read to aloud. Great memories.I saw someone reference the Dominican play-offs earlier in relation to Cespesdes. FWIW, I think they should stay away from him, but I would love to see MLB adopt the DR play-off system. Here's how it would work.1. MLB would return to a 154 game schedule.2. Each league would qualify four play-off teams.3. In each league, those four teams would play an 18 game round robin – 6 games against each team, three home, three away – with one day off per week. 4. The winners of the round robin in each league would would meet in a best of nine World Series.It would take no more time than the current structure because the regular season would be a week shorter. Teams would make up the lost revenue from the six fewer regular season games because of the increased shared TV revenue from the play-offs. Teams would have to use five starting pitchers in the play-offs so it would be a better reflection of who the best team is.

  12. natsfan1a - Jan 13, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    222 and NatsLady, sorry 'bout the video. I didn't notice it when I first went to the story, but it did occur to me later that I should have posted a warning. Oops. :-)Re. Stairs, yeah, I thought it might have been a recent development until I read a bit of endorsement's text.On nicknames, not a Potter person but I do like the nicknames. imho, they're organic and develop in their own time. (iow, I'm of the let them come to you rather than charge them persuasion. hmmm…that metaphor didn't quite work.)

  13. Positively Half St. - Jan 13, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Sunderland- Thanks. It reinforces what I said about how truly good nicknames that stick are hard to come by. I am almost shocked that Chris Berman didn't come up with Wingardium, because he truly tortures names to make a pun.+1/2St.

  14. N. Cognito - Jan 13, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    "So, folks, if there anything we can do to stick a nickname on one of our guys this year, we should do it. Let's open it up, and consider it an ongoing task. A good nickname rarely comes immediately, but when someone hits on one,it strikes like lightning."No. Leave the nicknaming to the players.

  15. fpcsteve - Jan 13, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Regarding the previous discussion on how the Nats do (or don't) promote the team in DC and local schools… The Royals have had player caravans in schools all over southeast Nebraska this week (the part of NE closest to KC). The players have been on Omaha and Lincoln TV stations. The Royals have even worked the smaller, rural schools. Alex Gordon (former NU player) has been highly visible in a Royals jersey and signing autographs. That is a pretty fair commitment since the school districts get much smaller once you leave the immediate Omaha and Lincoln areas. The Royals are also on the radio quite a bit now. It's a pretty amazing push given the fact that the drive to KC from here is 3+ hours. They're working it. Just an observation…

  16. Feel Wood - Jan 13, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    It's dangerous to walk around (or more specifically, drive around) with 20/200 vision in one eye. Probably not too safe on a baseball field either…In that case, they'd better fire Braves coach Luis Salazar, who lost an eye after being hit by a foul ball last year. Get him off that baseball field, it's way too dangerous. Keep him off the roads, too.And ya know, old Sammy Davis Jr. was probably putting himself at risk by going on stage with that glass eye. Should have shut him down too.Geez.

  17. Positively Half St. - Jan 13, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    I wish we could, but the players gave up long ago. They simply add a "y" to the end of each others' names. I'm surprised that we haven't heard one of them refer to "Gorzelanny -y" yet.+1/2St.

  18. The Fox - Jan 13, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Jorge Soler is who the Nats should try and sign, not Cespedes. By all accounts Soler who is only 19 has a much higher up side. The money for him could get silly since he is the last international signing before the rules change July 2nd. He is easily worth top 5 draft money and some estimates put him at 20 million which if I understand it correctly would cover his first 5 or 6 years. It's still a lot of money for a kid that will probably need 2 years in the minors but than again its money.The Nats are rumored to have interest but they are rumored to have interest in almost everyone this year.

  19. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    He looks great. I hope someone gives him a chance!

  20. Anonymous - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    To shift gears a bit…Next Wednesday, 4pm CT is when the first domino falls for the rest of the Hot Stove. That's the Darvish deadline. According to MLB.com, the Rangers expect to get a deal done, which most likely eliminates another Prince Fielder suitor.Then Prince will sign with someone before the end of the month. I don't think they (Prince & Boras) want to wait too much longer than that.

  21. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    As someone commented last night, let him shake off the rust. If he isn't hitting in 4 games, it will be a gamble by Cespedes and his agent that cost them a ton of dough.

  22. Steve M. - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Thanks for sharing that. I have been saying it for years on other sites that the effort in the suburbs is poor. Any kid who meets a player in that school setting goes home and is tugging on their dad to take them to a game. That's how it all starts and then they want to play Little League ball too and really learn the game.It should be mandatory for Nats players to do off-season appearances like that. Most teams do it.The Nats seem very content in limited in-season appearances in DC schools for the Nats Dream Foundation charity.

  23. Steve M. - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    The gamble (by Boras) to wait for the Rangers or Dodgers may have cost Prince additional leverage. It sounds like the Rangers are going to sign Darvish and the Dodgers probably won't add any more payroll as that may lessen the bids (one theory) since the expense side of the ledger went up.Are there any other surprise teams? Have the Mariners and Blue Jays in fact put in the largest bids and Prince doesn't want those cities?

  24. lesatcsc - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Section 222 – Having had cataract surgery on both eyes, I agree with you, why didn't DJ have the surgery a long time ago? Maybe the cataract hadn't been diagnosed? 45 minutes after the surgery is over you're seeing better. I only missed 1 day of work for each surgery. Later in life I had a retinal detachment which required emergency surgery. Even in that case I only missed three days. Good news for DJ, he's better today and apparently now he will manage better! Yippee!The Fox – I'm with you. I think the Nats should ignore Cespedes and focus on Soler. He will be cheaper, has more upside and will have the advantage of being developed in the Nats system through the various levels of MiLB. Cespedes wants the moon, and that makes him too big a risk IMO.

  25. FS - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    That seems pretty hectic for a postseason schedule. At least 23 additional games, playoffs not ending any sooner, fairness to division winners (I don't care about this one, but this argument has been used extensively against wild card winners).I liked the previous format (with just one wild card), but prefer shorter season because of colder games.

  26. NatsJackinFl - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    lesatcsc…I agree. Let Cespides sign with the Fish for stupid money and 5 years. The Nats can wait a year for there CF.

  27. Theophilus - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Kilgore "tweets" — not "reports," this is what journalism has come to: "All the news that fits in 140 characters" — Nats talking to Ankiel about role as "platoon/fourth outfielder," as if that's somehow different from last year. Notwithstanding the shortcomings of the Tweet/Tweeter, it is reassuring that Cameron is Ankiel-insurance and nothing more serious.

  28. NatsJackinFl - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Their

  29. Theophilus - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Anyone think Soler could play at Harrisburg? I can't see the Nats' top two CF prospects competing for playing time in Potomac.

  30. Steve M. - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    SunderlandJan 13, 2012 05:50 AMI've said a few times I bet that Cespedes is over-rated and will be overmatched by MLB pitching. He's never seen pitching that good. He's rarely hit against guys who are better than good AA pitchers. He's unlikely to help himself by playing in the DR over the next few weeks. He's already got juice and is likely to land a good contract. How does playing down there help?First game last night, 0 – 3, all three strikeouts, and one HBP. He played DH, did not take the field.I don't know enough about Cespedes and whether he will be a bust but the problem with any international player is the competition they face just like High School & many College kids. Until you get into the Minors, you don't know what you have and sustaining success in the Majors is another issue.I don't think the risk is worth the reward on Darvish either. He will cost $20 to $25 million per season when the negotiations are completed. He may be very good, but can't see him being worth that type of money.I think Fielder, even more so than Pujols and any other player in this years FA crop will have the greatest impact on his new team in the short run 1 to 3 years and should be impactful hopefully beyond that. Fielder will make those in front of him and right after him in the lineup statistically better because of his high OPS. I also like the possibility of the Nats signing Fielder and moving LaRoche + cash to Tampa for Upton.1. Desmond SS2. Upton CF3. Zim 3B4. Fielder 1B5. Morse LF6. Werth RF7. Espi 2B8. Ramos C1. Stras RH2. Gio LH3. JZim RH4. Lannan LH5. Wang RHThat is a 1st place NL East team right there!

  31. Steve M. - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Agreed!

  32. Water23 - Jan 13, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    That is a lineup I would enjoy watching for years. Also, I am in agreement on going for Soler but if they pass on Fielder then maybe both Soler and Cespedes. It will be the last time a team can grab some 1st Round talent for just a few buckets of cash.

  33. Water23 - Jan 13, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Speaking of team doing a fanfest right…http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/tex/fan_forum/fanfest.jsp?partnerId=DFA-1078358-45779367-75598177Rangers are doing it this weekend. Please Ted & company learn from your mistake and the examples of others and bring back the mid-winter fan fest.

  34. JaneB - Jan 13, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    My friend (and periodic commenter here) Dan has been calling Wilson "President Wilson" for a while. But I think The Buffalo may have won out for me. I still laugh out our when I remember FP saying, "That's a whole lotta catcher coming down the line atcha!"

  35. JaneB - Jan 13, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Brilliant!

  36. Tim - Jan 13, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    However, if we're going to trade LaRoche to Tampa Bay, we better hurry. They're looking into signing Pena or Kotchmann again.It's somewhat nerve-racking… the later we wait on Fielder (which we have to and allow his price to come down), the less teams we can move LaRoche to and get value in return.

  37. Anonymous - Jan 13, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    It'll take a lot more than LaRoche to get a 26 year old potential all-star CF in #bjupton2. It could start with Michael Morse and go from there. Have to figure Desmond/Lombardozzi/Espinosa could be in the mix. Plus catching: Flores. That's where Solano comes in handy. Of course Rizzo would never agree to any deal like this without one of TB's young lefty starters thrown in. If there's one thing about Rizzo he's pretty consistent about collecting top pitching if he can get it.

  38. Anonymous - Jan 13, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Kotchman had a great year. And he's left-handed. He's actually a lot better than LaRoche given the year he had.

  39. Mark'd - Jan 13, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    So true Tim. It has to be frustrating to Rizzo. SteveM, why do you have Upton in the 2 and Werth in the 6.

  40. Anonymous - Jan 13, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    If he lowers his demands Prince then could potentially suddenly have more suitors he would be interested in. The Nats could fall by the wayside.

  41. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Anonymous, for a 1 year rental of BJ Upton who was considered a potential waiver at the Arb deadline you have no clue on what it would take. Tampa has overasked repeatedly and no GM has budged. Tampa needs a 1st baseman as Tim pointed out. Personally I think LaRoche is too much for Upton. Just my opinion.

  42. Anonymous - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    I suspect it'll happen once the Nats really start winning … then there'll be enough turnout to warrant the expense. But yeah they do need to hire some more/better marketing expertise than what they brought in for MASN. Haven't seen anything from those new people. If anything MASN has become even more Orioles-centric. If not for the PFFlyer news it would be totally Baltimore.

  43. Diz - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Here's a question for everybody.Who do you think will be the Nats starter for our home opener on April 12th?It'll be our 7th game but there is a day off during the Cub series, so it'll be the 8th day So, the options for Davey:Assuming the following rotation:StrasGioZimWangLannanStras pitches the opener on Thurs. 4/5 thenGio – Sat. 4/7Zim – Sun. 4/8Wang – Mon. 4/9Then does Davy skip the 5th starter and keep them on their 5 day rotation (Stras – Tues. 4/10), or let Lannan pitch on Tues. 4/10.So Wed. would be either Stras/Gio and the home opener would then be either Gio/Zim.The last other option would be to have Stras pitch the home opener, which would slot him as the #2, pitching on Sat. 4/7. Which would be very cool.Had some time and I was just thinking ahead about opening Nats park this year (and this is really a slow news day). Can't wait!

  44. Steve M. - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Mark'dJan 13, 2012 08:55 AM:The stats on Upton are better than Werth in the 2 hole plus Upton's speed is better and he has performed well in the 2 hole. Werth projects better in the 5 hole than the 6 hole but Morse is better in the 5 hole than Werth.Jayson Werth has essentially been a 2 hole, 5 hole and 6 hole hitter in his career.As a 2 hole hitter his OPS is .796, in the 5 hole is .889 and is .826 in the 6 hole.BJ Upton has mostly been a leadoff, 2 hole, 3 hole and 6 hole hitter in his career.At leadoff his OPS is .730 and in the 6 hole is .706 and in the 3 hole is .796 and in the 2 hole his OPS is .807

  45. natsfan1a - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    OT but just noticed a link at left regarding a proposed bus service from the 'burbs to Nats Park. Evidently there's a survey where one can vote on potential pickup locations, but one has to have a Facebook account in order to vote. Interesting idea, but to cast their net a bit wider for those who neither have nor wish to create such an account (such as moi), the proprietors might wish to consider using Survey Monkey or some such for their polling. (Noted here in case they might be reading this blog or in case some Facebook account owner might wish to bring that idea to their attention. :-))

  46. Theophilus - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Late to open my eyes on this but Boras is Ankiel's agent as well. This makes it crystal clear that both (A) the internally inconsistent claim Nats are "patiently and aggressively" pursuing Fielder and (B) story re Nats still talking to Ankiel are coming from Boras directly and therefore have all of the credibility of P.T. Barnum. I can just see Boras saying to Ted, "We'll talk about Ankiel after you make me an offer on Fielder." Ankiel ought to be nervous.

  47. NatsLady - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Honestly, if Ankiel wants a job as a starting CF, he'd have one here if his offense were better–so just take the job, Rick, and work on your hitting as hard as you've worked on your fielding. It's not like we don't need a centerfielder…

  48. Mark'd - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    SteveM, thanks!

  49. Steve M. - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    If the Nats acquire Fielder than LaRoche becomes a logjam casualty.Rizzo will try to get the best deal he can. I think some teams have waited on acquiring a 1st baseman to get LaRoche on the cheap.Given Tampa's budget constraints, they become the most logical trading partner to do a deal for LaRoche + cash. LaRoche has 2 years of team control left.Upton has 1 year value right now. Tampa has Jennings, Fuld and Joyce and some others that will compete for the outfield so they are in decent shape in the outfield. They are not extending Upton so this is the end of the line for him in Tampa. His value diminishes the longer they wait to trade him as they will not get Type A draft compensation for him either.

  50. SCNatsFan - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    I agree NatsLady. If Ankiel can't win the CF job here then he can't win it anywhere.

  51. DH - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Steve M you're in the no Harper camp?

  52. Just sayin' - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Speaking of which, Boswell is up with a column on what a future 'all-Boras team' might look like…

  53. Steve M. - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Dh – I am in the Harper camp big time! If the Nats don't get Fielder then they don't get Upton so the team has 1 opening remaining in the starting lineup for the outfield. Its either a Bernie/Cameron platoon in CF w/ Werth in RF or Werth in CF with BHarp in RF.For that to happen, Harper has to win the spot in Spring Training and do it while facing starting pitching. There's no doubt like last year that Harper can look good against fringe pitchers in the 5th thru 9th innings of Spring Training ball. The challenge will be battling in the 1st to 3rd innings against real MLB pitchers.

  54. Eugene in Oregon - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Obviously none of us know, but I'm working under the assumption that the Nats HAVE, indeed, made an offer on Mr. Fielder. Again, it's just an assumption, but I suspect it was a better offer (lengthwise, at least) than most people who comment here would like, but not long enough for Mr. Boras and Mr. Fielder to accept. I have no idea whether such an offer would have an expiration date on it ('good for 72 hours' or whatever), but even if it has expired it would, I assume, be the starting point for fresh discussions once Mr. Darvish signs with the Rangers.

  55. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Is it just me or does it seem besides going after Buehrle and Gio that the Nats have been on-hold all off-season waiting on Prince Fielder?

  56. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 13, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    I can't say it's just you, but it isn't me. They only said they were looking for three things: a pitcher, a center fielder, and bench players. They have the pitcher, there may well not be a center fielder available, and it's still early for bench players, some of whom they've invited to camp already.

  57. baseballswami - Jan 13, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    How do you find that survey about getting a bus from the burbs? I would love that! Oh – and — JZIM should start the home opener – he deserves it and should by all rights be the number one starter, not three.

  58. Mark'd - Jan 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    From ESPN NY (Nats not mentioned):Yoenis Cespedes has now spoken and he says the Yankees are not one of the six teams most interested in him. Dionisio Soldevila of the AP tweets the Marlins, Cubs, White Sox, Orioles, Tigers and Indians are the ones who have been the most persistent. Yanks are intrigued by Cespedes, but don't have the desire to spend $30-to-$50M they suspect it will take to sign him.

  59. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 13, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    I agree with you on both. Bus would be fun but hate being on a time schedule on when to get on the bus.On JZIM, he definitely earned it. It will be a tough decision for Davey/Rizzo.

  60. Sean Kelly - Jan 13, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    I surely have seen him cast Espicto Patronum before making some of his defensive stops AMIRITE?

  61. Anonymous - Jan 13, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    The Yankees scouting is so good that if they are passing, time to step away from the table and smash the calculator and offer 1/2 of what you were going to. A shame the Nats didn't do that with Maya!

  62. Anonymous - Jan 13, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Steve, really like your lineup and the thought you put into it. Just dont hold out much hope the Nationals will get the PF Flyer.If they do, makes perfect sense to be calling Tampa Bay to move LaRoche.

  63. Sean Kelly - Jan 13, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Definitely geeked up about the home-opener. Missed last years, but have already set vacation time aside to take my wife up there to go to three games and enjoy the city (moved to NC four years ago). Know any decent priced/nice hotels in the city? We got a hell of a deal on the Liaison two years ago, but prices have skyrocketed. Sidenote – any insiders want to get a drink or something before/after a game (thinking to how Misterirrelevant does it for football and hockey)

  64. MicheleS - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Rays Fan Fest!So how bad is it that the Rays are having a Fan Fest next month and the NATS are not! We draw more than they do!http://tampabay.rays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120113&content_id=26333964&vkey=pr_tb&c_id=tb

  65. Wally - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Replace Wang with Oswalt at his rumored asking price of 1/$8m, and then ask how much stronger that feels?It is kind of shocking to me how much Oswalt has struggled to get a job. I don't see us signing him, but I bet if Rizzo knew he would be available for 1/$8m, he would have grabbed him over Wang.

  66. Wally - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    For all the Michael Morse fans, I thought that this was a fun blast from the past – exactly 1 year ago today. The guy got it right.http://www.fangraphs.com/community/index.php/the-next-jose-bautista/

  67. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/01/asking-price-drops-for-oswalt-kuroda-jackson.htmlOswalt down to $8 million?!? Hate to say it. The Nats should think about grabbing Oswalt and trading Lannan for Minor Leaguers to restock the farm system!

  68. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Yep, the old "Mike" Morse! Good stuff! That Morse guy also deserves a 3 year contract!

  69. natsfan1a - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    swami and P2P, I *think* you can vote on the ballpark bus survey here, but since I don't have an account it didn't load for me.

  70. Wally - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Yeah, I agree. I made a similar comment up above in SteveM's thread about the lineup. If Rizzo knew this is where Oswalt's market ends up, I think he never would have re-signed Wang. At this point, moving Lannan is the only way to add Oswalt.

  71. Steve M. - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Wally, you read my mind. I just read that MLBTR and was thinking the same thing. Need 2 lefties in there which would mean Wang to the bullpen or traded which I don't see them doing.That is a steal for Oswalt at $8 million.

  72. Steve M. - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Tough to go 4 RH and 1 LH in the starting rotation. Tempting for sure since you could get some prospects for Lannan.

  73. MicheleS - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Just "Liked" it on facebook!

  74. MicheleS - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Loved that article.. Beast Mode continues Hacking the Gorse 2012 and beyond for the Nats

  75. Anonymous - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Lannan won't stop them from acquiring Oswalt, nor BJ Upton. But first they have to sign Fielder to set them up for the final moves … down to the wire I guess. At that point they would indeed have Rizzo's and Johnson's image for a contending playoff team. Given the potential market I strongly doubt it this stops them from reupping Zimmerman, Zimmerman, Strasburg, Harper, etc. in the future. However, the caveat, as Rizzo continues to say. One move can lead to other moves that might improve his ball club. IN THIS case signing Fielder with terms more favorable to the Nationals would be that next big move after getting the strong top of the rotation lefty in place. They could use another lefty just like him but could settle for Oswalt. Would Wang and Lannan block Oswalt? If Fielder is safely ensconced at first base? NOTHING stops the Lerners, Rizzo, Johnson and the Nats. Nothing. But without that move, then its wait for 2013 and see what progress the prospects make. I personally can't wait because I'm tired of hearing how 1.) The Lerner's are cheap. and 2.) that Michael Morse is a flash in the pan. Guess what if you are saying this then you don't know anything about baseball period. Get Caps season tickets.

  76. Unkyd - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    oboy…. Another strike against the new format: on iPhone, I suddenly can't copy text from the comments. This is how I used to connect to links, by copying the text and pasting to the search window. Other than that, I've acclimated nicely!

  77. Anonymous - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    I still think mine, Danny Klaxanosa is better … its nicer to hear that Klaxon sound more often than not!

  78. Anonymous - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Of course we too could use Harry Potter: Klaxanosum! Makes small round balls like the golden snitch fly 500 feet into the distant cheering crowd!

  79. Sunderland - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    #4, there is a eal problem with the DR playoff format in that one team could be out of it (say 2 – 8 after 10 games) but still have to play 6 more games, three of them at home. In the DR, once a team is eliminated, all the fans stay home and all the better players sit down. Games become a joke.

  80. Wally - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Agree, not an optimal LH/RH split for us. If we could replace Wang with Oswalt, even better but I don't see it happening because they just signed him.But I think that LH/RH splits should take a back seat to talent, and I think Oswalt, even at this stage, is a better pitcher. Plus, full disclaimer, I have always been a big Oswalt fan, so I am not completely impartial. He's also the guy that JZimm comps to the best, imo.

  81. NatsNuts - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    If the Nats don't sign Prince, maybe they will make a run for Oswalt. I'd like to see them trade Lannan to Oakland for 3 of their top prospects: AJ Cole, Brad Peacock and Tom Milone.

  82. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    If $8 mill is "real" on Oswalt, the Yankees should be signing him right now. Its a no brainer in my opinion. Why look at Edwin Jackson when you can stop gap with Roy Oswalt. That's the same money Madson just got as a reliever!

  83. NatsNuts - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Now I can do this on my work computer which I couldn't do before. I just wish since you can comment on someone else's comment earlier in the day that it chronologically resorted the latest commented portion to the bottom of the page so you don't have to re-scan every comment again.

  84. hondo69 - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Eugene, I'm sure you were a real polite kid growing up, but is it really necessary to address everyone as "Mr."? This being a rather casual baseball blog, why not give those typing fingers a break, huh!!

  85. Wally - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    PtP – not sure I agree. The Yanks have rotation holes that go out a few years. CC is a sure thing, and even if they think Hughes rebounds, and Betances and Banuelos can make the transition this year or next year, they still are a SP short, Jackson on a reasonable 3 yr deal seems to make more sense for them (to me) than Oswalt on a 1 year. Of course, being the Yanks, they could grab both without blinking.

  86. According to MLBTR - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Fielder reportedly meeting with Rangers today (at a DFW hotel).

  87. Tom in AR - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    I am Harry Potter fan. I am a Nats fan. I am embarrassed by these nicknames.

  88. Eugene in Oregon - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    If I'm the Rangers' GM (and ownership), I've got to be doing some re-thinking of the numbers right now. Could I sign Mr. Fielder and Mr. Oswalt right now, save the $51m posting fee by not signing Mr. Darvish, then make the Darvish move next offseason when he's a true free agent and his old team doesn't get a huge percentage of the total package? If you're up-front with Mr. Darvish and his agent, you might even get them to play along (i.e., give the Rangers some sort of preference next offseason) given their previously reported distain for the entire posting system.

  89. baseballswami - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Just checked out the ballparkbus.com deal on facebook. Looks like a good thing for those of us that live beyond metro. I will have to make sure that it waits until the game is over, though. And the cost, of course – but still a really good idea. I hope it works – sounds like they won't run a bus for particular game unless enough people sign on. Are we still running three hours early?

  90. Binx Bolling - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Lannan would likely get us someone like Luke Scott, Jake Fox or Nolan Reimold. Or Brian Bixler.

  91. NatsLady - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    I think there are some problems with your scenario, E in O:1) Darvish would have to go back to Japan (and his fans there) losing face because he didn't get the MLB contract;2) Every year that he doesn't pitch here, he risks injury, and then yet more time off; the only way to avoid that would be if he didn't play for a year–not a likely scenario;3) The Rangers, surely, want to return to the WS this year, with pretty much of their current team. Another year is another year older.

  92. Section 222 - Jan 13, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    I see that my hopes that commenters here would ignore the individual reply buttons and just keep posting chronologically have been quickly dashed. Oh well. But I will boldly proceed in that way, hoping to encourage others to join me in boycotting the new "improvement" that makes periodically checking the blog for new comments much more time consuming. So let me thank Wally for posting the Fangraphs piece about Morse from a year ago. Boy, I hope that guy gets a raise. And to lesatcsc, thanks for your insight on cataract surgery. I've had one eye done as well and it was a breeze. As for retina surgery, my recuperation from a detachment wasn't as quick as yours. I sure hope no Nats player or manager ever has to go through that.

  93. Race Fan - Jan 13, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    The bus survey is at BallparkBus.com, and the article about it is at Blog.LetTeddyWin.com.If you work near your home, and that location is far from Nationals Park, I think this bus will be a great service. Also a great way to organize a work party.

  94. N. Cognito - Jan 13, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Section 222Jan 13, 2012 03:03 PM"I see that my hopes that commenters here would ignore the individual reply buttons and just keep posting chronologically have been quickly dashed. Oh well. But I will boldly proceed in that way, hoping to encourage others to join me in boycotting the new "improvement" that makes periodically checking the blog for new comments much more time consuming."Agree. And I will not go back and peruse previous posts looking for replies, though it's not as if that's going to sway anyone.

  95. natscan reduxit - Jan 13, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    … nobody's perfect. And that includes not only Prince Fielder but Mike Rizzo. Today's media report that it's now the Rangers who are hot on the trail of PR doesn't bother me; I'm not in the "let's sign PR right now" camp. But if all the recent talk about the possibility of Fielder coming to DC has caused Cespedes to fall off the radar, and in the end, we don't get our star CF nor the Prince, then that just means someone didn't do their job…. I can't remember who it was last week who made the claim that the Nats MUST get a run-producer now, before ST begins, was right on the mark, and I'd suggest that Mike R had better get that done a.s.a.p. before any more trial balloons pop into thin air.Go Nats!!(And if any of you wishes to comment on my opinion, please do so, but do it in a new post, not by hitting 'reply'. Thanx.)

  96. Marty - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    That made me lol

  97. Eric - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Why no reply?

  98. Joe Seamhead - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    My biggest fear: Last year all around me I heard when Adam LaRoche, or Michael Morse, made a good play at first was," OMG, Adam Dunn wouldn't have made that play." My fear is next year we'll all hear when PF doesn't make a play, " Adam Laroche, or Michael Morse would have made that play." Man, I hope that we turn this page soon!

  99. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    Blogging seems like a linear thing with all those lines and timestamps, but the fact is, it's a spacious non-time kind of time to it.

  100. natscan reduxit - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    … Eric, I didn't say "No Reply". I would love to hear how my views meet with others in this group. I simply asked for any replies to come through new postings, not by using the reply button. Like N. Cognito, I have no intention of scrolling through a long litany of past posts to find if someone felt a reply to my comments should be forthcoming. … it's not the reply that's the problem; it's the new system of operating this comment blog.Go Nats!

  101. Feel Wood - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Your fear is my hope. Fielder's bat will make up for it all.

  102. Section 222 - Jan 14, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    My biggest fear: ALR hits .190/.235/.280 as he tries to come back from major shoulder surgery in under a year, and the Nats can't unload him before the trading deadline. It's Austin Kearns all over again. My hope — Prince crushes the ball with two outs and two on in the 9th; the Nats win their 8th straight. People all around me say: "LaRoche would have hit into a DP in that situation."

  103. Mark Zuckerman - Jan 14, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    BREAKING NEWS: I've disabled the threaded comments function. And as an added bonus, the time stamps are once again correct!Thanks to everyone for their patience the last few days.

  104. slidell - Jan 14, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    Looks like Mark got everything fixed!

  105. Drew - Jan 14, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    Let's stop gazing at Fielder in the Mirror of Erised long enough to give Mark a tip o' the Nats brim.Well done.

  106. sjm308 - Jan 14, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    Pay to Play – not that I give two hoots about the Yankees and their pitching but it looks like they just took care of things with the 23 year old from Seattle and Kuroda from the Dodgers. Must be nice to just swoop in and get what you need, when you need it. Also surprised that they gave up a good young catcher. Again I don't follow them but I thought Moreno was their future behind the plate.As for our lads, I would go for Oswalt for a one year deal just to give our youngsters another settling influence. I am also thinking that Fielder would be a great addition for lots of reasons but the longer it goes, the more I think Texas will be his new team.

  107. Mickey Mantle 07 - Jan 14, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    Forget Cespedes, and his $50 million contract. Make a trade with the D-Backs for Garrado Parra. He will fill our need for a CF and a leadoff hiiter. D-Backs have a logjam of OFs after sigining Kubel and Rizzo knows the gold-glove Parra. D-Backs want a 5th starter. Send them Lannan & parts. While Parra will never be me, he is just what the Nats need PF or not.. MickeyMantle07

  108. Section 222 - Jan 14, 2012 at 5:09 AM

    Three cheers for Mark. My magical mystery tour of the Nats 2011 game continues, through watching each of the condensed games on mlb.com. I'm up to July 27, the night that none other than Mike Cameron hit two dingers for the Fish against us. Ouch. Undoubtedly his biggest game of the season. The Nats lost that game 7-5. A furious 9th inning rally that included RBI hits by Zim and Morse fell short as Nix flied out to the warning track in right field to end the game. Prince would have hit that one out.

  109. skidge - Jan 14, 2012 at 5:49 AM

    Thank you, Mark!

  110. Dave - Jan 14, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Thanks for fixing that, Mark! I'm not at my school today, so I can't tell whether the posts/threads are readable, but it looks like the good old NI now.

  111. baseballswami - Jan 14, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Have to work today, but was very amused to log early on this cold Saturday morning and find sec 3 making a Bull Durham reference and the blog looks normal again. Poor Mark just can't get away from us.

  112. natsfan1a - Jan 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Atta way, Mark. :-)

  113. natsfan1a - Jan 14, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    D'oh! I totally whiffed on the Bull Durham reference.

  114. natscan reduxit - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    … thanx Mark, for setting us straight again … and during your off-time too. "Above and beyond …", I'd say. Take care of Brian and give him all our love.Go Nats!!

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter